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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Survival Tip: Making Fish Traps

Original Article

In a survival situation, you want to conserve as much as possible: conserve energy, conserve water and conserve your emergency food storage. Use your freeze dried food when you don’t have access to other nutritious food. One of the most nutritious foods you can eat is fish, and if you are near a body of water that has fish in it, you can trap them for meals. Whether you are near a pond, lake, stream or river, making a fish trap can be relatively simple without expending a lot of energy.
Funnel Trap: This trap should be built in shallow water close to the shore. Gather a bunch of sticks that are long enough to be pushed into the soil and stick out of the top surface of the water. Push the sticks into the soil to form a funnel shape, with the wide end of the funnel pointing into deeper water. Form a circle with sticks so that the narrow end of the funnel is pointing into the middle of the circle. Space the sticks close enough so that a fish cannot swim between them. Cut a slit down the length of a stick on the end about two inches long. Spread the slit and wedge some bait in the stick, using a bug, worm or small fry you caught and then wedge the stick into the soil toward the back of the circle. A fish will swim through the funnel and into the circle to get the bait, and will not be able to turn around and swim out.

Stakeout: Tie a piece of cord between two sticks stuck in the ground under water several feet apart. Tie two short cords to the main line a couple of feet apart and attach hooks to the free ends. The short cords should not be able to slip along the main cord. Bait the hooks with worms or bugs. Hooks can be made from a piece of wire, a thorny branch, or by carving wood or bone, and the smaller the hook, the better. Notch the blunt end so that the hook doesn’t slip off the cord when bitten by a fish.
Gill Net: Using perforated material, such as the lining from a jacket or the mesh from a hat, form a net and attach it to a handle to scoop fish from above. You can also make a net with some small cord. Tie a piece of cord between two trees, and then double over some lengths of cord and tie them to the main line. Space them so that a fish cannot swim through the gaps. Then starting at one end and down about two inches, tie the second and third pieces together, then the fourth and fifth together and so on. Alternate on the next row to start forming the diamond pattern of the net. Tie another main line across the bottom once you have the desired length of the net. String your net across the current of a stream or river so that the flow of water brings the fish into the pocket of the net.
Finding ways to supplement your emergency food storage with fresh food will help support your health in a survival situation. Be prepared with skills that allow you to find and trap animals that may be available in various environments.

-Gary Jenkins-
Gary Jenkins is a father and husband in Oregon, and is a wildlife rehabilitation and outdoor adventure enthusiast.


  1. Very interesting and useful ideas, but came looking for instructions for the traps in the main picture. Did I miss those somewhere? TY